Dropbar adjustment


New Member
Hope some experienced roadies can help me out on this one :smile:

I recently bought a second hand roadie off ebay, and promptly took it out for my first road ride at the weekend. Apart from being thoroughly knackered out after the first 20 minutes (my asthma was playing up!) I found that I was pretty uncomfortable with the distance of the hbars, but im not sure how to go about getting comfortable. The stem at the moment is 100mm, which has had to be raised by spacers and turned upside down to raise it even more. I also feel like I need it to be closed, with 80mm looking about right.

Problem is - I dont want to spend a load of money just to find it isnt the right solution, and then have a load of parts I dont need anymore :smile:

So how does a new road rider go about getting comfy on their bike?


I'm no expert but it sounds like the frame is marginally too large for you; that or you haven't really come to terms with your new position on the bike if you are used to a more upright bike. There are plenty of people who can tell you how to measure whether the bike is the right size and how to adjust. Stem length is just one of the ways of closing the gap between you and the bars. Correctly adjusted height of saddle and fore and aft saddle adjustment also come into play.

Sheldon Brown http://www.sheldonbrown.com/ will undoubtedly has something to say on it. Also search on t' internet and Youtube there is plenty of reference material.

Gerry Attrick

Lincolnshire Mountain Rescue Consultant
Don't be too quick to change what you have. Assuming the bike fits you in other respects, if it is your first road bike you will feel too stretched out at first. Ride it for a couple of weeks to get your body accustomed to the strange position. If you still feel the need to fit a shorter, higher stem, get some experienced advice on bike fit.

You could have a Google for "bike fit" as there are many bits of advice available such as this.


Über Member
I'm at teh same stage adapting from an upright bike to a road bike and have my bars as high as they'll go with the stem flipped. I'm just getting used to it now and will drop it once my back has adapted a bit more. Give it a bit more time.


New Member
Thanks for the advice guys. I'll take your advice and give it a while before changing anything. Also, its sort of refreshing to see someone else mention back pain, it must be one of the rites of passage to becoming a road rider!
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